Friday, November 18, 2011

Citizen Journalism in Middle East

When news first broke out the Muammar Qaddafi was killed, the footage that first surfaced on the web was from a "Citizen Journalist" in a sense, one of the rebels caught on tape, the dragging around of Qaddafi's corpse, and also his last momments alive. Al Jazeera got a hold of the footage and broadcasted on the web, and other media outlets. This is an example of citizen journalists working together with journalist, to the news out there. Al Jazeera was able to place the footage into the context of Libyan Revolution, in the future we can be hopeful that the relationship of the citizen journalist and professional journalist will be a symbiotic relationship, one that benefits the readers, citizens of the world.

CNN expands citizen journalism platform

CNN's iReport is a widely used source covering all kinds of news. Last week CNN laid off about 50 photojournalists and some tape room workers deciding instead to use more accurate and a source of free news. The 5 year old iReport thrives on the "assignments" that the editors assign as well as stories that are uploaded for the heck of it. iReport will have more assignments and feature more of citizen journalists' works on the air. For more of the article from The Atlantic Wire, click here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rio's slum face challenges after raid

(from The Christian Science Monitor)

An article on CNN from 15 Nov, 2011, tells the story of 3,000 Rio de Janiero (Brazil) special police forces clearing out the Rocinha flavela (slum) of the city in an effort to stop drug battles in preparation for the 2014 World Cup that will be hosted in the city. They also arrested Antonio Francisco Bomfim, Rocinha’s top drug dealer who is also known as Nem, and many underlings. Not a single shot was fired.
To read more on this story, click here.
However, an article from The Christian Science Monitor asks if the raid was nothing more than “a PR success for the Rio government.” The operation, which was title Operation Shock of Peace, was well announced beforehand. In fact, the troops met little resistance from traffickers other than oil in the streets and garbage blocking some areas. Many traffickers had already fled thanks to knowing the invasion was coming.
The over preparation and release of what was happening by the government allowed the press to latch onto the raid and just follow what happened from there. It wasn’t completely about simply removing traffickers from the slums but from making the government look good as well.
The media fell for it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Burmese voice

Burma is a country which is closed to the other world. For the most countries it is a mystery what is going on there. This country isn’t either popular tourists‘ destination or an important political center. Foreigners are not welcome in Burma, that’s why the only people who can show the world, what is really going on there, are the local journalists. Public often know only the names of the famous anchors from the famous TV-channels. Not so many people can appriciate and recognize the importance and danger of the local journalists‘ work. For example, many journalists were killed during the war in Iraq. And most of them were Iraqi.

Looking at the history of the Saffron revolution 2007 in Burma, we can say, that local journalists did a great job. There were constantly under the risk and pressue. In the beginning of the film Burma VJ the narrator was caught with a camera in the street and because of that he was forced to leave the country. But nevertheless he claimed, that he liked his job and that he couldn’t stand sitting far away from the real events. It is sighnificant, how Burman journalists are devoted to their job. They were using handycams instead of the professional cameras, but were taking much more bigger risks doing their job. They could be arrested, even worse they could be beaten for attempts to tell the truth about the military dictatorship in their country. They were following the flow of the Saffron revolution from the very beginning. Without fear they went into the streets and recorded the crowds of people demanding to free Aung San Suu Kyi. The military forces tried to stop them. Burmese journalists met many obstacles on their way, but they managed to tell the story. CNN and other channels translated their materials world-wide revealing the truth about the protests in Burma.

The point of the journalistic job is to tell the story of the voiceless. The Democratic Voice of Burma managed to give a word to the Burmese. It didn’t matter, that the revolution didn’t end up well. The most important was that fact, that today Aung San Suu Kyi isn’t under house arrest anymore. The strict line of the government became more flexible. And the local journalists played not the least role in that change.